May 31, 2013

Friday Finds

Happy Friday everyone!!  It is finally here, my favorite day of the week.  To celebrate this wonderful day I'm going to share some fun things I have found lately!  Hope you enjoy!

I don't know what it is about Target, but I LOVE that place!  They have the best home goods, great clothes, and the lovely and wonderful dollar bins!  I'm all about a place that has some great dollar bins!  The other day I was in and found a few Fourth of July must haves at my house.  First off, little Miss Harper looks so adorable in shades!  I love sticking her in them and most of the time (unless she is cranky) they stay on.  I of course had to pick these up when I found them:

Patriotic, practical, and only $1.00!!  

They also had the sweetest patriotic headbands.  I love my daughter in a headband!  Here is a picture of last year's Fourth of July:  

I LOVED this headband and she actually kept it on at that time.  This year we are going with this headband: 

...and hoping she keeps it on, at least for a few pics! :)  Again, $1.00 at Target!!

The next Friday find is a two part find.  First I want to share two of my absolute FAVORITE blogs to read!  This Mama has two awesome blogs with loads of great stuff!  She has really tasty desserts, a few I will post about when I get a chance...I have tried many already!  She also shares dinner ideas, great tips and tricks for all kinds of things, life at her house, and not to mention she is the sister of the last Bachelor Sean!  Here are links to both of her blogs; I highly recommend you check her out! 

Last week I was reading a post she had about nail polish.  This post inspired me to get a new summer color!  She recommended three brands and so I decided to give one a try.  When  I was at Target getting all my fun dollar bin purchases I also stopped by the nail polish aisle.  I was looking for something bright and cheery and I found just what I was looking for.  

Not the best paint job but it will due!

The color is actually a new summer color for Essie.  It is called Sunday Funday and I love it!  It is a coral pink with just a bit of shimmer!  I love reading blogs for fun ideas and inspiration!  

Finally, this isn't a Friday find but my sweet little one has officially entered the big girl world in the car.  We turned her car seat to face foward yesterday.  Made me a little sad because she is growing so quickly.  It also made me thankful that I get to watch her grow and go through so many fun stages!  I love this little peanut!

Now go out and enjoy this fabulous Friday, I know I will!  Don't forget to stop by tomorrow to kick off to my Summer Family Fun Series!  Hope to see you all tomorrow!

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May 30, 2013

Ham and Cheese Calzones

I LOVE calzones, not only are they easy to make but they are giant pillow of bread!  What could be better than that??  I'm obviously a carb loving girl (unfortunately) so anything that has bread in it is usually a winner in my book! This recipe could be used for lunch or dinner.  I always make a bunch and freeze them, then I pull them out to take for lunch.  Occasionally you just need something other than a sandwich, something warm and hearty!

Frozen bread dough (I use Rhodes white bread 5 pack)
Filling of your choice (I use a brick of mozerella cheese and a pound of ham)

Early on in the day before you go to make the calzones you want to dethaw the dough.  I found pulling the dough out of the package and laying the loaves onto a cookie sheet works great for this.  I had my dough out for a few hours, by the time I was ready it was totally dethawed.  I should also mention that when the loaves thaw they will probably be touching each other, no biggie, they rip apart very easily! Then, I wash my kitchen table really well and throw a small handful of flour down on the table.  When you pick up the loaf it will feel sticky, the flour helps to keep it from sticking to your hands!  I like smaller calzones so I always rip my dough in half right now before rolling it out. I make 2 smaller calzones out of one loaf.

Once you have flour coated your dough (you don't need much flour) you begin to roll in out.  I have used a rolling pin in the past, this last time I just used my hands to knead it out.  I spread my dough out as far as it will go then it is time for the fillings.  I'm a ham and cheese lover so that is what I add to mine.  I add a small bit of ham and a small pile of cheese to one side only.

Then, I fold the other side of the dough over top of the ham and cheese.  Next, I roll the bottom edge of the calzone up and over the top and use a fork to go all around the edges.  The fork sort of seals the edges together.  Finally, I take a knife and add a few small slits in the top of the calzone.

Not the prettiest thing you have ever seen, but oh so tasty!

I bake them at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  I should mention that every oven is different and you might want to keep a close eye on yours.  Sometimes I find that the dough is not fully cooked in certain places so I will pop it in for a little longer.  I don't have an actual recipe for these, my mom made them a few times so I tried them out.  It is not a fancy recipe, I don't use an egg wash or anything like that, but it is good.  Simple too!  I use all five loaves, which gets me 20 single serving calzones.  I split the original 5 loaves into 2 when making the calzones.  After I have cooked them, I split all 10 mini loaves into 2 and get single servings!  I also cook them all at once, throw them in a freezer storage bag and keep them for later!  They always come out tasting great even after being frozen!  Finally, if you are a person who likes a lot of meat then you might want to get more than a pound.  I found a pound works great for me!

I personally like mustard to dip my calzone in, eating them plain is great too!  Nothing beats the smell you get while cooking these yummy calzones either!  Enjoy!

Stop by tomorrow for my Friday finds and Saturday for my kick off to summer with a summer series on great things to do with your kiddos!

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May 29, 2013

Weekend Fun

This past weekend was busy but also a lot of fun!  Saturday we went to Cleveland for a quick visit with Grandma before going to a First Communion Party.  Matt's parents live in Cleveland and I have family that lives in the same area as his parents.   The party wasn't until later in the day so we were able to sneak in some time with Grandma first.  

Grandma is so great to Harper, she is always thinking of her!  She loves to buy her girly clothes and her favorite yogurt smoothies!  She has also really wanted to take Harper to visit ducks at a park near her house.  The last few times we have went to visit we have been so busy that we haven't gone.  Saturday was the perfect day; we finally got to take Harper to feed ducks.  She loved checking the ducks out; she is a curious little one!  She wasn't really into feeding them, which was a good thing because after we got there we saw a sign posted asking for people not to feed them.  After hanging out with the ducks we walked all around the park and played on the playground.  It was a beautiful day, beautiful park, and a fun time hanging out with Grandma!  Harper LOVES to visit Grandma!

If we are outside playing I try to have a hat on Harper.  She has such fair skin (like mom and Nana) that I'm always worried about her burning.  She also has thinner light hair so I worry about the top of her head burning too.  If I don't have a hat on her I LOVE to have something in her hair.  When she was smaller I would put lots of hair bows, flowers, and headbands in her hair.  These days she wants to grab them out (most of the time...I still try though) so I have been on a quest to find something that will work in her hair.  Nana (my mom) her other Grandma bought her a nice big box of hair bands.  There were little thick elastic bands and little rubbery bands.  I found that she can grab out the thick bands in one quick attempt, bummer!  Then, one day my sister tried the rubber bands, I hadn't tried them yet.  These were perfect!  They stay in all hair types, even really thin hair.  They are tight enough on the hair that Harper can't reach up and grab them out (yet) and they actually stay in all day!  I love playing with her hair and I'm so happy we have found something that works!  

The rubber bands!

The pigs have been in since 7am and it is now 7:30 pm!   

Here are her pigs after a long day...still up and kicking!  She however she is fussy and SO ready for bed! 

 Happy Hump Day!  Come back tomorrow for an easy and yummy dinner idea!  

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May 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

The weekend was wonderful!  It was such a nice treat having Monday off!  I hope everyone had time to enjoy it and spend with friends and family!  I didn't quite get my bows made, but I got them cut out.  That is half the battle, assembling them will be easy!  Our cookout kind of took over the day yesterday, it's okay though, it was a nice day!!  

I'm here to share another Tasty Tuesday recipe with you all.  This is another crowd pleaser and a hit at the party I went to over the weekend, especially with the kids.  The best thing about this recipe is you need only a few things (which I love about it)!  This has been all over Pinterest but I adapted the recipe from:

Makes about 2 mini muffin trays of brownies
1 box of brownie mix 
1 bag of mini chocolate chips (you won't use the whole bag...use what you like!)
3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter (I used more than this...I bought a small tub of creamy p.b.)

Directions: For the directions, click on the link above!

*I would like to mention the original recipe called for peanut butter and chocolate chips (regular size).  Because I used so much peanut butter I didn't want to use the peanut butter chips too.  Also, I like the mini chocolate chips for the mini muffin pan, they fit the brownies better (in my opinion).

What could be much better than chocolate oozing with peanut butter???  Love it!  

Stop by tomorrow to find out what kind of fun we were up to this past weekend with Grandma.  Also, find out what I use for pig tails that my daughter can't seem to pull out (yet)!  Hope to see you tomorrow!!

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May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

First off, THANK YOU to all veterans and those currently serving our country.  It is also important to thank the families; they play a big part as well, the support system at home (which isn’t always an easy job I’m sure)!  It is because of YOU all that we have our freedom and can live in the country we do!  Thank you!

Today should be a day of remembering, being thankful, and of course picnicking!  I'm sure many of you will be hosting or going to a picnic today!  Check back tomorrow to find a recipe for a delicious dessert that I took to a party last night.  It would be good for any picnic too; it's the perfect finger food dessert!  

Harper LOVES picnics, we have them often.  We call them her "puffs picnics" and she lays out a blanket (it must be the black blanket with colorful polka dots) on the floor in the family room.  Then, we dump a pile of puffs on it and she watches a little TV (not for long) and eats her puffs!  Gotta love a good puffs picnic!

Today we just so happened to picnic in our new pink swimsuit from Grandma!

Happy Memorial Day!!

May 26, 2013

Mini Bow Mania

I love the weekend, who doesn't?  It is when I make these really long to-do lists with every intention of getting lots done.  It usually ends up in me cramming as much into a Sunday evening as I can.  That's why I LOVE long weekends.  I can almost always be a little more productive!  This weekend one of my  goals is to do a little crafting for a craft show my mom and I applied to be in.  The show will be in December and we find out in June if we were accepted or not (fingers crossed)!  I'm hoping that we will be, we had to have our stuff judged and the lady seemed to like it.  We call ourselves "Whimsical What-Nots" and have a whole bunch of different things.  My stuff tends to be hairbows, headbands, flower clips, etc... Having a daughter has helped me to become a little more crafty because buying all of those things gets expensive!  When you do it on your own it is less expensive, plus you always have extra supplies to make more!

I'm going to share a website that I found that has a great step by step tutorial on how to make these adorable little mini bows:

How to website:

Let me just say, if I can do it, so can you!  I get frustrated easily when I don't understand something, then I want to give up.  These bows were so easy to make and turned out so cute, I love them!  I plan on making a BUNCH this weekend...I'll get back to you all on that one :).

I should also mention I hot glued lined alligator clips to the back of these.  I'm a fan of the lined clips!  I got them from this website:  They were perfect, shipped fast, you could pick how many and what colors, and cheap for as many as I got!

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

May 24, 2013

Friday Finds

Each Friday I'm going to try and share a few cool things I have come across recently.  It might be websites, blogs, food, baby items, household items, whatever I might find and really love!  I hope you will enjoy my finds as well!

First off I'm sharing a blog I enjoy.  This blog has inspired me to try and live a natural life as much as possible.  Don't get me wrong, I still love eating out and desserts, but now I'm more 
conscious about what foods I eat.  If there is a more natural choice I will pick it.  (Most of the time).  Not only does the blog offer advice about food, but it gives lots of recipes to try out too!  She also posts what she packs her daughter for lunch many days, I like this because it gives me ideas for my own lunches.  Packing a lunch can get so boring!  

I have recently read an article that has inspired my second pick of the day!  The article talked about what you don't want to find in your sunscreen.  I had no idea sunscreen had anything bad in it.  Now with that being said, I know that you can't trust everything you read, but it does get me thinking.  She also seems to spend a lot of time researching different items so I really trust what she has to say.  Finding articles like this one isn't always the best thing for me because I'm a worrier, boy does it get old sometimes too!  Anyways, the article got me thinking about what different kinds of sunscreens are out there, so I went on a search to find one I would like, that didn't have the ingredients the article said to stay away from.  This is what I found:

I love this sunscreen because it goes on really nicely!  It doesn't get clumpy and hard to spread.  Plus, it has no fragrances!  I also picked up the lip balm and bug repellant too!  I found these at Babies R Us, they have a whole line of BabyGanics products.  So far from what I've tried, I really like the brand!  Here is a link to the article in case you are interested:

My last find of the day is keeping with the theme of natural products.  I was so excited when I discovered this:

This jelly tastes just like any other jelly but has all natural ingredients:  strawberries, sugar, fruit pectin, and citric acid.  In case you are wondering what fruit pectin is (I had no idea) here is the web definition: A natural substance found in fruit, especially citrus fruit, used in jam and jelly making because it can gel liquids.  It comes in Strawberry, Concord Grape, Red Raspberry, and Orange Marmalade.  Tasty and all natural, I love when it works out like that!

Like I said, I definitely still love my fast food, junk food, and sweets, now I just try to substitute all natural whenever I can!  Happy Friday, TGIF!!

May 23, 2013

Splish Splash

The other day Matt (my husband) was outside playing with Harper when he started talking to our neighbors.  They mentioned having a water table that they were going to throw out unless we wanted it for Harp.  We took them up on their offer, it was in really great condition too!  The next day it got filled up and Harper immediately started to have fun!  She is such an outdoorsy little one, she loves playing in the water, collecting rocks, and exploring everything!  It is the perfect height for her (15 months) and she can have fun in water without getting too wet.  I would highly recommend one for any little ones you may have at home!  I did a little Google search and there are lots of different tables out there.  Some even come with umbrellas, not sure if that is really needed, but definitely fun!  Get out there and enjoy the warm summer sun with a cool summer toy!

By the way, bath toys are perfect for playing at the table, although it did come with a few toys too.  

May 22, 2013

Strawberry Angel Food Cake

Today I'm sharing a delicious recipe that would be perfect for any summer gathering.  It is light, fruity, and always a crowd pleaser!  For as long as I can remember my mom has made this dessert and I always enjoy a few helpings of it!  

Here's what you need:

2 small boxes of strawberry Jello
1 angel food cake
1 container of cool whip or Reddi wip 
strawberries *my mom has used a pack of frozen and I used 1 lb. container of fresh-either way works fine!*

First, rip up the angel food cake into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.  
Next, cut up strawberries and mix them into the angel food cake.

Then, get two cups of water (I used warm...not sure if it matters) and mix in your jello packets.
Pour all the jello mixture over the angel food cake.  It may look soupy, don't worry!  Let the dessert sit in the fridge for a little while, the jello will absorb into the angel food cake...this is when it gets really good! 
Finally, top off with cool whip to serve!  Not only is this super easy but it is really tasty!  

If you enjoy this version, try mixing it up a bit.  Try a different jello with different fruits!   Happy Hump Day!

May 19, 2013

Good Morning Bloggers!

Welcome to my new blog!  I'm so excited to be starting my new blog today!  I just love the way it turned out, it is just what I wanted thanks to Melanie!  

I'm Leslie and I have a great husband Matt, and a sweet but spunky little 15 month old named Harper.  My hope for this blog is to be a place to share fun recipes, family time ideas, and crafts.  Pretty much blogging about our family adventures in hopes that you will find something interesting and fun to do with your family!  I love blog hopping and seeing all the great ideas other people have, I'm always inspired to try new things because of blogs and pinterest!!

Right now my blog is pretty bare, but soon I hope to fill up my links with lots of great stuff!  Starting in June I will be doing a series on summer activities and crafts to do with your little ones!  I will also post fun recipes that are easy for the whole family to make!

Sunny days are my favorite, I live for the sunshine and warm weather!  I hope that when you stop by and check it out you can enjoy a little bit of my sunshine!  This weekend I will be going to a cookout, nothing says summer like burgers on the grill while hanging out with good friends!  Check back tomorrow for a yummy way to kick off your summer cookouts!

Finally, I would like to say my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected in Oklahoma!  My heart goes out to all the families and I pray for healing to all!